A former special agent of the FBI was indicted yesterday for allegedly stealing over $100,000 of drug proceeds seized during the execution of search warrants and obstructing justice by taking steps to hide his alleged theft.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Angel D. Gunn of the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.
“As alleged, former Agent Bowman put his own greed above the trust placed in him by the FBI and the American public,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “Corrupt law enforcement agents not only compromise those investigations in which they are involved, but also damage the reputations of fellow law enforcement officers who are dedicated to public service and the protection of all Americans.”
Scott M. Bowman, 44, of Moreno Valley, California, was charged in the Central District of California with three counts of conversion of property by a federal employee, three counts of obstruction of justice, two counts of money laundering, one count of falsification of records and one count of witness tampering.
According to allegations in the indictment, which was unsealed today, Bowman misappropriated over $100,000 of drug proceeds seized in June and August 2014 during the execution of three search warrants. The defendant allegedly misappropriated these funds after they were transferred to his custody in his official capacity as a federal law enforcement officer.
The indictment alleges that Bowman used the stolen money for his own purposes, including spending $43,850 in cash to purchase a 2012 Dodge Challenger coupe, $27,500 in cash to purchase a 2013 Toyota Scion FR-S coupe and approximately $26,612 in cash to outfit these vehicles with new equipment including speakers, rims and tires. According to the allegations in the indictment, the defendant also used approximately $15,000 of the misappropriated cash to pay for cosmetic surgery for his spouse, and opened a checking account into which he deposited approximately $10,665 of the stolen funds, a portion of which he used to pay for a weekend stay at a luxury hotel, casino and resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to the indictment, to conceal his misappropriation of the drug proceeds, Bowman allegedly falsified official FBI reports and other records. Specifically, in connection with one of the seizures, Bowman allegedly endorsed an evidence receipt knowing that it did not accurately reflect the amount of cash seized and altered the same receipt by forging the signature of a police detective next to his own.
The indictment further alleges that Bowman made false representations to his colleagues regarding the disposition of certain seized drug proceeds. In addition, Bowman allegedly sent an email to the detective whose signature Bowman had forged setting forth a detailed cover story that the detective should offer if asked about Bowman’s activities with respect to the seized drug proceeds. According to the indictment, Bowman also allegedly provided the detective with a copy of the forged receipt so that the detective falsely could claim the forged signature as his own, if asked.
The charges contained in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Robert J. Heberle and Lauren Bell of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.